Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Confessions of a Foodie

It's no secret to those who know me that I am seriously into food. Whether I am cooking it, eating it, thinking about it or writing about it; food is a very important part of my life. I see it as something that brings people together in shared pleasure, which is always a good thing. It binds generations together through recipes passed down from long ago. The next generation building on and interpreting a living culinary heritage.

I grew up in an ethnically rich area where we ate at Greek picnics, Polish weddings, Italian home cooking and Christmas tamales from our next door neighbors. My grandmothers were both formidable cooks with completely different styles. I was a quick learner, grabbing as many of their secrets as I could.

Recently I have been busy rebuilding my Thai cooking site. I had forgotten how big the damn thing had become. It is a complex project but the work is worth it. I need to get a new camera so I can get enough pictures of food to suit me. I like to use my camera to get into kitchens of restaurants. Sometimes I even get to cook.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fried Rice With Basil

Fried Rice With Basil - Koa Pad Krapao

This is a tasty and fragrant dish that is easy to make. Any meat will do, or you can substitute fried tofu for the meat if preparing a vegetarian meal.


  • 6 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thai Hot Chili, finely chopped
  • 6 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Pound Fresh Chicken, pork or shrimp, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Pound Cooked Jasmine rice, preferably chilled overnight
  • 2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoon Green Onions, finely sliced
  • 8 Tablespoon Fresh Sweet Basil Leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Coriander Root, chopped


  1. Heat oil in a wok or fry pan.
  2. Stir-fry garlic until golden.
  3. Add Chili and chicken, cook until done.
  4. Add cooked rice, sugar, fish and soy sauce.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring and tossing gently.
  6. Continue stirring until it is mixed well
  7. Stir in green onions, basil leaves & coriander.

Makes 4 servings.

Wild Rice with Mushroom Duxelle

Wild Rice with Hen of the Woods Mushroom Duxelle

Mushroom Duxelle is a very classic french method. It is a way to concentrate the flavor of a mushroom.The basic idea is to reduce the moisture content, I have seen some cooks, including Julia Child wring out the excess moisture from the raw chopped mushrooms in a cheesecloth before cooking.

Since I am still on the new uses of Hen of the Woods mushrooms I am using them today. Crimini, Button, Portabella all work well in a duxelle. If fresh Chantrelles can be found they might work well in this recipe.

This is a great accompaniment to almost any meat dish or can be part of a vegetarian menu.

Wild Rice with Mushroom Duxelle
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 8 ounces fresh Hen of the Woods mushrooms
  • 2 shallots finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon herbs, thyme, rosemary, sage or marjoram.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Clean the mushrooms well and chop fine.
  2. Heat a large skillet on the top of the range.
  3. Add oil and mushrooms.
  4. Add the shallots and garlic.
  5. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until the moisture has been absorbed.
  6. Add cooked wild rice and heat through.
  7. Add fresh herbs. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 Servings

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache is a rich, silky, chocolate mixture that is a delicious filling for candy, chocolates, truffles, cakes and other confections. Ganache is made with only two ingredients: heavy (whipping) cream and chopped semisweet chocolate. Butter can sometimes be added. You can create various textures of ganache by varying the proportions of cream and chocolate. Fruits, spices and liquors can be added if desired.

For best results, you will want to use an excellent quality chocolate. Chocolatiers like Valrhona, Schokinag and Callebaut are known world-wide for their couvertures and mixing chocolates. (The high quality chocolate used for melting is referred to as "couverture"). The couvertures from various chocolatiers produce a different taste and texture in the finished ganache. Experiment to find the ones that you like best. A friend of mine said she would definitely go with scharffen berger chocolate. She's made truffles with it using both the semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder components and it's the best she had used.


Chocolate can easily scorch during the melting process. This is especially true when melting the chocolate in a pot or microwave. But there’s good news. When you are making a ganache, you can melt the chocolate safely by stirring it into hot cream.

Water and melting chocolate do not mix! Make sure your utensils are very dry. Even a small amount of moisture, will ruin the chocolate. You will get a nasty gritty mess. When you see it happen once and you are not apt to make the same mistake again.

Ganache for Truffles

  • 8 oz. heavy cream (unwhipped)
  • 8 oz. milk baking couverture, chopped
  • 8 oz. vanilla couverture, chopped
  1. Bring the heavy cream to a boil
  2. Remove hot cream from heat.
  3. Pour hot cream into chocolate, stirring constantly.
  4. Add butter and stir till smooth.
  5. Cool uncovered.
  6. Refrigerate when cool.

Ganache for Cake Frosting

This is a softer ganache made with equal portions of cream and chocolate. It is ideal for use as a filling for cookies, cakes or other confections.

  • 8 oz heavy cream , unwhipped
  • 8 oz good quality couverture (semi sweet)
  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Heat cream in saucepan.
  3. When cream boils, remove from heat.
  4. Place a damp cloth on your counter top,
  5. Place the pan of hot heavy cream on the cloth.
  6. Add the chocolate to the hot cream
  7. Beat the mixture with a Dry spoon until mixed.
  8. Cool the ganache, uncovered.
  9. The ganache will solidify as it cools.
  10. It is ready when it reaches spreading consistency.